Do Minerals Affect Fertility?

If you’ve been trying to conceive but haven’t been successful, it can be pretty devastating. There are a number of factors that contribute to infertility issues and difficulty conceiving. One reason could be that you are not ovulating. Another issue could be that you have low levels of progesterone and/or a sluggish thyroid. Many times, a woman’s inability to conceive doesn’t have anything to do with her body. Instead, male infertility, which account for one third of infertility cases, may be why you’re not able to conceive. But one contributor to difficulties conceiving or maintaining a pregnancy are nutrient deficiencies, especially those that impact our thyroid and hormone levels.

Here’s a look at how minerals affect fertility and how getting the right levels may improve your chances of conceiving. 

How Minerals Affect Fertility

Although there are many reasons you may have difficulty conceiving, improperly balanced minerals could be one primary reason you aren’t successfully becoming pregnant or maintaining a pregnancy. Many women can become pregnant but have recurrent miscarriages due to sluggish thyroid/low progesterone. Researchers are now finding that proper nutrition has a tremendous effect on pregnant women. Therefore, the lack of specific vitamins and minerals may not only cause premature births but could interfere with a woman’s ability to ovulate and conceive. Although improperly balanced minerals in both men and women can lead to infertility, the thyroid is the number one factor for most women having difficulty conceiving or maintaining a pregnancy. It can affect ovulation, energy production, immune function, and egg quality in women. 

Can Increasing Minerals Improve My Chances of Getting Pregnant?

Since everyone’s body is different, it may take some time to understand why a woman is unable to conceive. Testing your mineral levels is a non-invasive way to begin to understand your body better. It’s as easy as getting a sample of hair (about a heaping teaspoon in size) tested. But before you go wild boosting your daily mineral intake, it’s important to understand minerals better. You may not be deficient in all minerals. And, getting too much of some minerals can affect how well other minerals can perform the tasks your body needs. Focusing on getting minerals from food is a great way to avoid creating more imbalances in the body. Always begin by focusing on food first and then adding in appropriate supplements once testing has taken place.

Which Minerals Are Best to Take When Trying to Conceive?

Supplements are easy to buy and take, but they may not solve your mineral imbalance. Although they are readily available and heavily marketed, it’s important to understand that more minerals sometimes isn’t the solution. Most of us have purchased supplements because we saw them online and they sounded like the solution to so many problems. At the same time, many of us have a supplement graveyard somewhere collecting dust full of pills and tablets we forgot why we even bought in the first place. Millions of dollars are spent on supplements that people saw someone share online but didn’t live up to the hype or improve their health. 

Proper analysis of your current mineral levels and learning how to interpret those results is a much safer and more effective way of tackling mineral issues. 

Here are some of the minerals that contribute to fertility. Of course, it’s important to take an individual approach with a trained practitioner who can guide you through what’s right for your body.

Magnesium’s Role in Fertility

Magnesium is so important to fertility we needed to call it out individually. Although that doesn’t mean you should run out to the store immediately for a magnesium supplement, you do need to be aware of your levels. Magnesium helps the thyroid to function properly. And the thyroid is a center of hormones, which makes it extremely connected to fertility. 

To begin, it’s important to have your minerals tested before blanket supplementing with magnesium. That’s because too much magnesium can interfere with the functioning of other minerals like sodium and potassium. Taking magnesium and having very low levels of sodium and potassium that are not being supported can make it harder to increase those levels. What’s also important to note about magnesium is its absorption. Magnesium can be easy to absorb in supplement form. However, it’s best to start topically (through lotions and epsom salt baths) which provides a smaller dose that won’t have as much of an impact on sodium and potassium levels if they are low. 


Calcium is critical for healthy bone function. Therefore, it is vital for a woman to consume it in the diet to ensure that her baby grows and develops. But during the conception stage, men also need to ensure that they get enough calcium. Like zinc, it helps with sperm count and prevents infertility in men. 


Women are often told that one of the nutrient causes of ovulatory infertility is a lack of iron. When a woman is low on iron, the conventional thinking goes, it is a good idea to increase her intake of this mineral to ensure that the ovulation process functions properly. However, most women get enough iron from the foods they already eat. Our bodies are actually good at collecting and recycling the iron that we use. But this process requires other minerals and vitamins for it to be effective. Without the proper quantities of copper and Vitamin A, iron can be stored in our tissues to unhealthy levels. But with copper, iron can be unlocked and the two minerals combined can help resolve problems such as anemia which can affect fertility.  

It’s important to remember that the biggest causes of anovulation, or not ovulating, are often related to stress, thyroid, insulin resistance, and under-eating. Minerals play a key role in regulating blood sugar, and insulin resistance is a contributing factor in a very common hormonal condition PCOS.  


Potassium has been shown to have an insulin-like effect on cells. We need healthy insulin levels in order to ovulate: Healthy ovulation is the key for fertility and conception. To balance potassium levels as much as possible to benefit fertility, include potassium rich foods in the diet. Adrenal cocktails, potatoes, squash, tomatoes, beans, avocado, guava, kiwi, cantaloupe, banana, pomegranate, melon, cherries, oranges, tangerines, mango, papaya, plums, strawberries, beef, salmon, and dairy are all high in potassium. 


Sodium is essential for a healthy stress response. It’s also a mineral that is essential for healthy stomach acid levels: We need to break down our food correctly in order to digest and absorb nutrients from that food. Low stomach acid is also stressful and puts the body at risk to things like parasites and pathogens since it is our first line of defense against those things. Low salt diets have also been shown to increase insulin resistance—and insulin resistance can make it difficult to ovulate. To best balance your sodium levels to benefit fertility, consider adrenal cocktails and also salting your food. However, make sure you balance sodium with potassium. Too much sodium and not enough potassium can lead to fluid retention. 


Iodine is a major mineral that affects fertility because it helps us make thyroid hormone. Not only is it essential for the thyroid, but it is also important in regulating other glands such as the ovaries, uterus, breasts, and prostate. Iodine deficiency can cause serious problems for fertility, however, because of its relationship with the thyroid. Congenital hypothyroidism can result if a mother is deficient during her pregnancy, and this can affect fetal brain development. To make sure that you have sufficient iodine, especially if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, eat plenty of iodine-rich foods, such as seaweed, seafood like cod and oysters, dairy, and eggs.


Selenium is a mineral that helps our bodies use iodine properly. Not only is selenium a powerful antioxidant that helps detox heavy metals in the body, but it’s important for fertility because it helps support proper development of follicles that release the egg. Selenium deficiency can cause a host of problems related to fertility, including low semen quality, low sperm motility, and low birth weight. In order to avoid this, both men and women should ensure that they take in adequate selenium by eating foods such as oysters, organ meats, and brazil nuts.

Will Prenatal or Multivitamin Pills Provide all the Minerals I Need?

Prenatal vitamins are a staple of pregnancy and have been for decades. But it may be time to take another look at these supplements, which pack excess minerals into each pill. Many prenatal pills on the market may not have enough of specific minerals, may use poor forms of these minerals or include mineral combinations that cancel each other out. Ever notice a prenatal with both iron and calcium in it? Since calcium binds to iron, it can inhibit proper absorption. 

Rather than look to prenatals as a one-stop solution to getting your mineral needs met when trying to conceive, it’s best to focus first on building your own prenatal by eating nutritious foods that provide the proper minerals. 

Fertility Doesn’t Begin in a Bottle

To better support your fertility, it’s important to create a plan for stress relief. Stress can negatively impact fertility. So it’s essential to learn resilience techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing. Finally, after getting your minerals tested, create a meal plan that focuses on natural, whole foods that contain the minerals you need. This can lead to more nourishment overall. By focusing on the basics like eating enough nutrient-dense, whole foods and getting enough sleep and sunlight, you can support your fertility and health during pregnancy and postpartum.

Amanda Montalvo

Amanda Montalvo is a women's health dietitian who helps women find the root cause of hormone imbalances and regain healthy menstrual cycles.

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